About the Book (from Revell)
Some endings are really beginnings . . .
On a hot day in 1737 in Rotterdam, Anna König reluctantly sets foot on the Charming Nancy, a merchant ship that will carry her and her fellow Amish believers across the Atlantic to start a new life. As the only one in her community who can speak English, she feels compelled to go. But Anna is determined to complete this journey and return home - assuming she survives. She's heard horrific tales of ocean crossings and worse ones of what lay ahead in the New World. But fearfulness is something Anna has never known.
Ship's carpenter Bairn resents the somber people - dubbed Peculiars by the deckhands - who fill the lower deck of the Charming Nancy. All Bairn wants to do is to put his lonely past behind him, but that irksome and lovely lass Anna and her people keep intruding on him.
Delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions test the mettle and patience of everyone on board. When Anna is caught in a life-threatening situation, Bairn makes a discovery that shakes his entire foundation. But has the revelation come too late?
Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to the beginning of Amish life in America with this fascinating glimpse into the first ocean crossing - and the lives of two intrepid people who braved it.
Suzanne Woods Fisher takes on the little explored historical Amish genre, and she does it well. As with her contemporary Amish stories, the characters come to life with their quirks and honest musings and struggles. Anna's Crossing contains an interesting cast: the heroine of faith, the troublemaker lad, the irksome girl with the lazy eye, and a couple of villains for good measure. And who wouldn't love a strong hero with a Scottish brogue and a name like Bairn (which means "child")?
I always love a good seafaring story, and this one involves plenty of peril - including some rather gruesome depictions that certainly hint at the horrors of ocean travel back in the 1700s. I appreciate that Fisher doesn't shy away from the sins and syncretism and hardships of the era, while also highlighting strong convictions and faith in God's provision.
What didn't impress me quite as much was the obviousness of certain plot twists. Secrets were revealed chunk by plain chunk to the reader, and I'm still not entirely sure how one character in particular didn't make certain connections far earlier in the story. It was neat how everything turned out, but I just wish everything wasn't quite so neat in how it came together, or at least not so obvious as to take away the *gasp!* factor.
And as fun as Felix's character is, I confess that having so many scenes from his point of view didn't feel necessary to the bigger picture. Unless his character plays a bigger role later on in the series - in which case, the scenes do share some cute insights into a young boy's mind.
All in all, though, Anna's Crossing is a solid start to the "Amish Beginnings" series, and an intriguing mix of historical and Amish romance genres.
*With thanks to NetGalley and Revell for providing me with a temporary e-ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
Available March 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.